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Today the EU Agriculture Council meeting held for the first time under the Malta Presidency

Brussels, 23 January 2017 – EU ministers responsible for agriculture and fisheries met at their first regular EU Council meeting of the year under the Malta's Presidency. Slovenia’s representative at the first day of the meeting was Minister Dejan Židan. At the request of the Slovenian delegation, the EU Council meeting discussed the agenda item related to the case of Teran wine: "The scope of the Commission's powers to adopt delegated acts for exceptions from the rules on protected designations of origin for wines." The EU Council also discussed other agenda items; inter alia the Maltese Presidency presented the Presidency’s programme and priorities over the next six months. On the margins of the meeting, at the initiative of Slovenia and the Czech Republic, a meeting of the EU Member States was held focusing on the problem of unfair practices in the food supply chain. At the end of the day Minister Židan also met with the Slovenian Members of the European Parliament and presented them the priorities and activities of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food in 2017.

On the margins of the EU Council meeting, on the initiative of Slovenia and the Czech Republic, a meeting of the EU Member States was held focusing on the problem of unfair practices in the food supply chain. At the meeting, which was attended by 19 EU Member States, a draft document was presented, whose purpose is to launch a debate on the creation of legislative measures to remedy unfair commercial practices in the food supply chain at the EU level. At the meeting it was agreed that a document is to be drawn up by the end of February, and, it was agreed with the Presidency that the document will be discussed at the EU Council meeting in March.  The draft document is divided into seven chapters: prohibition on the use of unfair commercial practices, monitoring system for increased transparency, payment deadlines, written contracts, exemptions from competition law, definition of significant market power and institutions in the food supply chain. State Secretary at the MAFF, Tanja Strniša, was unanimously appointed the Head of the operational group to conduct this initiative at the EU level, and the Czech State Secretary, Jiri Šir, was appointed the Deputy.

 

Moreover, at today’s meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council, Slovenia drew attention to the issue of the Commission’s powers to adopt delegated acts for exceptions from the rules on protected designations of origin for wines. Slovenia also called on the EU Council to examine whether the Commission's adoption of such a delegated act, i.e. a tertiary act, would interfere with the legislative powers of the EU Council and with the sovereign rights of the Member States as regards negotiations on the rights that concern them. Today, the Maltese Presidency presented its work programme and set priorities for the first half of this year. Efforts of the Maltese Presidency related to agriculture and fisheries will be focused on further promotion of development of sustainable, innovative and environment-friendly agriculture, food and fisheries sectors throughout the EU. The Presidency will continue the discussion on the Common Agricultural Policy after 2020, work will continue in the field of simplification of the rules of the Common Agricultural Policy 2014-2020, in particular the greening measures, and the Maltese Presidency will also be active in improving the position of farmers in the food supply chain.

 

Today, the EU Council discussed the market situation, focusing on the findings of the Commission’s report on the measures of the Milk Package.  At the meeting, the European Commission presented the current state of play on major negotiations conducted by the Commission in 2017.  The Slovak delegation reported on the conclusions of the conference of directors of the EU Paying Agencies that took place during the Slovak Presidency in Bratislava in October 2016. The Netherlands delegation drew the attention of the EU Council to the economic consequences of this issue for the agriculture sector; in particular the free-range egg production sector is suffering due to an outbreak of HPAI. At the Council of Ministers the Polish delegation expressed concerns with regard to the opening of the EU trade negotiations with New Zealand, in particular in relation to possible negative consequences for EU agriculture due to liberalisation of imports of milk products.    

 

 

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